Daily Tax Update - September 27, 2013: Senate Passes Measure to Keep Government Running

Senate Passes Measure to Keep Government Running:  Today, the Senate passed (by a 54 to 44 vote) a continuing resolution to fund the government until November 15.  The bill does not contain the controversial House provision to defund the Affordable Care Act.  The House could take up the Senate measure Saturday.  House Speaker John Boehner said yesterday that the House is unlikely to approve the clean Senate bill.  Boehner said, “I don’t see that happening.”  The Senate bill continues spending levels at an annualized rate of $986.3 billion.

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “I urge sensible Republicans in the House of Representatives to . . . let House Democrats vote.  Pass a clean bill to avert a shutdown.  Defy the anarchists.  Respect the rule of law.  And help the Senate govern.”

Congress must pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government by Monday to avert a government shutdown.  Congress could avoid that scenario by passing a one- or two-week extension of government funding to allow more time for negotiation.

In remarks this afternoon, President Obama spoke of the need to avoid a government shutdown. He also said he was willing to work with Republicans to improve the health care law, but not over the threat of a shutdown.   The President said, “Here at home, the United States Congress has two pressing responsibilities: Pass the budget on time and pay our bills on time. If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday, the end of the fiscal year, they will shut down the government, along with many vital services that the American people depend on.”  The President continued, “As I said before, if Republicans have specific ideas on how to genuinely improve the law, rather than gut it, rather than delay it, rather than repeal it, I’m happy to work with them on that through the normal democratic processes. But that will not happen under the threat of a shutdown.”  The President added, “So over the next three days House Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open or shut it down because they can’t get their way on an issue that has nothing to do with the deficit. . . . Past shutdowns have disrupted the economy, and this shutdown would as well. It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction. And that’s why many Republican senators and many Republican governors have urged Republicans to knock it off, pass a budget and move on. Let’s get this done.”